Night’s Darkest Embrace by Jeaniene Frost

Book Review

 


Night's Darkest EmbraceBook Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Urban Fantasy, Audio

Book Series: N/A

Released: 11/13/2012 by Pocket

Pages:100  Price: $1.99 E-Book

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I borrowed this audiobook from my library.

 

 

Book Synopsis:

Enter the dark realm of Nocturna in Jeaniene Frost’s redhot tale, where blisteringly sexy Raphael dominates the demons of a lawless dimension and tries to help a beautiful young woman avenge her cousin’s disappearance. Originally appeared in the Haunted By Your Touch anthology.

My Review:

This was a good listen for an afternoon spent removing tar paper from a hardwood floor.  Entertaining, short, and kept one’s mind occupied while doing a tedious task.  My only complaint is that this isn’t a series!  I thought this world was quite interesting and full of potential.  Maybe Ms. Frost will decide to revisit this demon dimension in the future, finger’s crossed.

While being short there was adequate world building and I didn’t feel lost. The story is fairly typical for paranormal romance there is a sexy alpha hero and an instant romance connection between him and the heroine who has to be rescued from the bad guy.  You know what to expect but that isn’t always a bad thing.  Sometimes you are just in the mood for a certain type of book and Ms. Frost constantly delivers an exciting steamy read.

Not a lot more to say being it was so short.  I enjoyed it and if you ever need to kill three hours then this would be a great audiobook to pick for you!

My Rating: Three Stars

Into the Fire by Jeaniene Frost

Book Review

 


Into the Fire (Night Prince, #4)Book Genre: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Romance

Book Series: Night Prince #4

Released: 2/28/17 by Avon

Pages: 340  Price: $7.99 paperback

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I own a copy of this book

 

 

 

Book Synopsis:

In the wrong hands, love can be a deadly weapon.

For nearly six hundred years, Vlad Tepesh cared for nothing, so he had nothing to lose. His brutal reputation ensured that all but the most foolhardy stayed away. Now falling in love with Leila has put him at the mercy of his passions. And one adversary has found a devastating way to use Vlad’s new bride against him.

A powerful spell links Leila to the necromancer Mircea. If he suffers or dies, so does she. Magic is forbidden to vampires, so Vlad and Leila enlist an unlikely guide as they search for a way to break the spell. But an ancient enemy lies in wait, capable of turning Vlad and Leila’s closest friends against them…and finally tearing the lovers apart forever.

My Review:

It took me forever to get this book, (note: do not pre-order books with vastly different release dates from Amazon they hold them and ship after the last book releases…).  Then it took me weeks to actually finish the book because life got in the way.  Just poor timing all around for this last book in the Night Prince series, on my part at least.  For what it’s worth I did enjoy the book I just think that I might need to read it again at a time when I can dedicate the attention it deserves.

Vlad is my favorite character from the Night Huntress world and I loved his spin-off quartet of books.  I can see the criticism that read in other’s reviews but I don’t care.  The series works for me and I will miss reading about these two.  The book is much like the others in the series Leila is being used as a tool to hurt and manipulate Vlad.  Mencheres and Ian take an intricate part in the plot of this last book.  In part to finish up this series and in part to set up Ian’s series.  Personally, I can’t wait to read that one as I think it is going to be a hoot!  I do believe the heroine has been picked and if it is who I’m thinking of there should be plenty of sparks and drama coming Ian’s way.

In this last installment, we learn quite a bit about Leila’s power and its source.  We also see the complete transformation of Leila into Vlad’s equal and contemporary.  Through the events that these two need to overcome we see Leila become just as vicious, dark and strong as Vlad.  While there is quite a bit of Leila needing to be protected and rescued in this book there were plenty of times where Leila was the one doing the rescuing.

While I am sad to see these two go I’m satisfied with how this series played out.  The book did make me long to revisit the Night Huntress world so I will most likely try to reread the series and its spin-offs some time.  Perhaps before Ian’s book come out.

My Rating: 4 Stars

Talen by Rebecca Zanetti

Book Review

 


Talen: A Dark Protectors NovellaBook Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Urban Fantasy

Book Series: Dark Protectors #7.8

Released: 6/6/17 from Lyrical Press

Pages: 95 Price: $2.99 E-Book

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review.

 

 

Book Synopsis:

She’ll love him forever . . . but he can’t make her obey . . .

The war is over. Danger has passed. Cara Kayrs is healed after decades of illness and ready for a break.

Too bad her brooding, alpha vampire husband can’t seem to change gears. In their twenty-five years together Talen Kayrs has learned to sense every shiver of her body, to ignite her desire with a word or a look. She would think he could learn she’s not some fragile damsel in distress.

But Talen is on edge, watching their backs, treating her like she’s made of glass. Like there’s something following them, a deadly threat that somehow none of their intelligence has uncovered. It’s enough to drive a woman crazy, and Talen has plenty of those tendencies already.

But what’s even more maddening is that he seems to be right . . .

My Review:

This was a fun visit to a finished series I enjoyed.  In this book we revisit the couple from the book that started it all and get a chance to see how their H.E.A has been after the war has ended.  As in real life just because peace has been declared sometimes it takes a while for everyone to get used to the idea.

As with the other books in the series if you have a problem with dominant alpha-males that push the envelope between a healthy and abusive relationship this might not be the series for you.  If you can overlook all that then this is one sexy read for an afternoon of relaxing.  There was plenty of action to go along with the sex as well as a pretty great plot that worked out in a clever way.  I had to smile and shake my head at how things turned out for this novella. If the men in this world would only turn things over to the females then there might not have been a war to begin with…

Anyway,  I am going to keep an eye out for future novellas in this world because I enjoyed this brief visit to this world. If you’ve read the series than this is a must add to your to-read list as it will be sure to make you nostalgic for the series.

My Rating: 4 Stars

Prince Charming Doesn’t Live Here by Christine Warren

Book Review

 


Prince Charming Doesn't Live Here (The Others #3)Book Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Audiobook, 

Book Series: The Others #3

Released: 11/2/10

Pages:368  Price: $7.99 by St. Martin’s Press

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I borrowed this audiobook from my library.

 

 

Book Synopsis:

Danice Carter is not one for glass slippers. A stilettos-wearing lawyer at one of Manhattan’s most elite establishments, Danice has a very strong grip on reality. So when she’s asked by one the firm’s founding partners to take on a personal case, Danice knows she’s in for the opportunity of a lifetime. All she has to do is convince her top boss’s granddaughter, Rosemary, to file a paternity suit. Sounds simple enough…until Danice arrives at Rosemary’s home and is pounced on by a handsome stranger.

Private investigator McIntyre Callahan’s was only following his powerful client’s orders: Find Rosemary—at all costs. Instead, he’s found a super-hot lawyer prowling around looking for answers he can’t give. The half-human, half-Fae Mac tries to warn Danice that she’s way in over her head—that Rosemary may roam among The Others, and may have dangerous ties to the Unseelie Court—but she won’t be deterred. Even if that means following Mac to the ends of the earth to find Rosemary… or surrendering to his supernatural powers of temptation… until death do they part.

My Review:

I think I’m done.  This is the last book offered through my library in audio format but beyond that, I’m done with series.  It just isn’t working for me and it is time to move on. I have about an hour left to listen to in this book and I don’t even want to finish it.

Most of my problem with this book in the series has to do with that the plot revolves around the Fae.  I’ve never been a fan of the Fae in paranormal stories.  Most of the time they tend to be shallow, easily offended, and only out for themselves.  None of these characteristics describe a race of beings that I want to spend any time with.  Essentially they are the mean girls of the paranormal world.  The plot was also pretty weak and the point I’m at currently makes me want to smack all the characters and tell them to grow up.  Danice needs to get over herself.  Mac is just not all that charismatic and the granddaughter is a spoiled brat.  Ugh.  Why am I listening to this?

I’m just not thrilled with this world.  It focuses too much on the sex and too little on the plot.  So I’m done.

My Rating:1 Star

Top Ten Tuesday: I Wish.

Top Ten Tuesday

Welcome to another contribution to the wildly popular Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.  This week they ask us to share lists on the following:

May 9: Ten Things On Our Reading Wishlist

This week’s list is fairly appropriate for me as I am once again longing for a great new series to dive into.  So this week I am simply going to share ten aspects of a story that I think will scratch my reading itch.

Ten book characteristics I want in my next great read.

  1. Great Setting: I would LOVE a great setting, that I’m familiar with, for my next great read.  I love it when the location is almost like another character in the book because if I’ve been there I can totally place myself in the world so much easier.  Plus it is almost like you have a fun inside track to the world you are reading.  Locations I’m currently seeking; Chicago, Iowa, Istanbul, Bulgaria, Minnesota.
  2. Not too technical but still accurate: One thing I loved about The Martian was all the accurate science involved in telling the story.  I would love for my next science fiction read to be like that but dumbed down enough that I can get most of it.
  3. Sex but not too much sex: I am an unashamed reader of romance and I like the steamy parts.  BUT that doesn’t mean I want the characters to be constantly jumping each other’s bones.  I want a good plot too.  So I want some sex but am willing to give that up for a better plot.
  4. Witty Dialog: Some of my favorite series came with smart-ass characters that were quick with a one-liner.  So I would love my next great series to have a little sass in the dialog.
  5. Fun Sidekick: I don’t mind a story that focuses all the attention on the two key characters but when you throw in an amazing supporting cast then the book is usually even better.
  6. Alpha Male: Goes along with #3.  In books, I don’t mind a strong alpha male that has a bit of caveman mentality.  Usually, it is a great premise for hijinks as the strong female drives him up the wall.  Plus I kind of enjoy seeing them get schooled when the female shows them they are just as capable as they are.
  7. Alpha Female: Part of the reason I don’t care for historical romance is I’m not a fan of weak females.  Sorry, I know it is probably a stereotype but too often the plot in those books revolves around a woman’s role in society.  Not interested.  I want a female that is equal to her male counterparts.  I don’t mind them being physically weaker than the males but I don’t want the entire book to be about saving the female from danger.  I want her to get her hands dirty and kick some ass too.
  8. Realistic love: Now I am pretty accepting of instant romance.  I usually don’t find it annoying in paranormal or urban fantasy books where you already have to suspend reality to enjoy the plot.  That doesn’t mean I don’t want some challenges for my main couple to overcome.  They need to work for their H.E.A. too.
  9. Good Vs. Evil: I love sinking my teeth into a good battle of good vs evil.  Part of why I enjoy dystopian books when we aren’t currently living in a dystopian society…
  10. Plot Twists:  To finish off my list I would love for my next read to have some great plot twists that I don’t see coming.  Not too difficult as I usually don’t figure things out.

There you have what I am looking for in my next great read if you know of any science fiction, urban fantasy, or paranormal romance that fits the bill or comes close feel free to share in the comments!  No YA, please.

Big Bad Wolf by Christine Warren

Book Review

 


Big Bad Wolf (The Others, #2)Book Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Urban Fantasy

Book Series: The Others #2

Released: 9/1/09 by Griffin

Pages: 320  Price: $7.99 Paperback

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I borrowed this audiobook from my library

 

 

Book Synopsis:

Missy Roper’s fantasies have revolved around Graham Winters since the moment they met. But the imposing leader of the Silverback werewolf clan always seemed oblivious to Missy’s existence. At least he Lupine law decrees that every Alpha must have a mate, and all Graham’s instincts tell him that the sensual, beguiling Missy is his. Trouble is, Missy is human?every delectable inch of her. Convincing his clan that she’s his destined mate, and keeping her safe from his enemies, will be the biggest challenge Graham has ever faced. And now that he is determined to have her?as his lover and as his mate?Missy’s world is changing in ways she never imagined?

My Review:

I read the first book in this series ages ago. I don’t really remember what it was about but I gave it three stars and remember thinking that I would continue with the series if the other books ever crossed my path.  It just so happens that my library has them available in audio format and needing a new book to listen to while doing chores I decided to continue.

First impression, wow that’s a lot of graphic sex to listen to while mowing the lawn.  Sure did make chore day interesting.  The plot was fairly typical for a paranormal romance.  A girl has a crush on smexy alpha male and doesn’t dream she has a snowball’s chance in hell with.  Of course, this means she is his mate and he spends the entire book trying to convince her she is good enough for him…  All of this over the span of a weekend where of course she ends up pregnant and just so happens helps the alpha keep his pack.   Lots of clichés in this book and for the first time it actually bothered me.  I think this has something to do with my changing reading taste, or perhaps it was just too over the top.

I liked Missy even though I got tired of her insecurity.  Graham, I liked a little less but enough to finish the book.  The pack was interesting but we didn’t learn much about pack dynamics and they barely had any part of the plot at all until the end. So I will probably give this series one more shot but if it doesn’t improve significantly I will most likely abandon it.

My Rating: 2 Stars

Immortal Unchained by Lynsay Sands

Book Review

 


Immortal Unchained (Argeneau, #25)Book Genre: Romance, Paranormal, Fantasy

Book Series: Argeneau #25

Released: 3/28/17 by Avon

Pages: 384 Price:$7.99 Paperback

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I own a copy of this book.  

 

 

 

Book Synopsis:

Ever since Domitian Argenis recognized Sarita as his life mate, he’s been waiting for the perfect moment to claim her. Those fantasies did not include him being chained to a table in a secret lab or both of them being held hostage by a mad scientist. Somehow, they have to escape…

Sarita has seen some crazy things as a cop, but nothing to rival Domitian. A vampire? Seriously? But his healing ability, incredible powers, and their mind-blowing physical connection—none of it should be possible, yet her body knows differently. Now, not only do they have to save each other, but other innocent lives are at stake. Failure is not an option, for Sarita intends that Domitian show her exactly what an eternity of pleasure feels like…

My Review:

Another enjoyable addition to a series I adore.  I was disappointed to see how some of the blogs I follow are growing tired of this series and have decided they are done.  I get that this is addition number 25 after all and we won’t always love every new release Ms. Sands gives us.  I, however, am not done.  This is one of the series that I’m (most likely) going to see through to the end.  Why?  Because I know 8 out of 10 times I’m going to get a story that I love.  One where I sit on the couch all day and do nothing but read the latest escapades of the characters in a world I enjoy.  Ms. Sands books might have similar themes but she always delivers a story that helps me escape reality and leaves me smiling at the end.

I’ve said before in my reviews of this series that the books fall into one of two camps.  They are either silly fun romps, true chick-lit, or they are more suspenseful and even a tad dark, with gripping plots that keep you on your toes wondering what happens next.  This latest addition to the series was one of the suspenseful tales but it did manage to throw in some fun as well.

This was Domitian and Sarita’s story.  I have to confess I don’t remember Domitian at all but after 25 books Ms. Sands has to be scraping the bottom of the barrel as far as finding a new Argeneau for each story.  We have to be onto second cousins twice removed or something like that.  That’s okay.  I don’t need a long history with these characters to find their stories compelling.  I did find it interesting that this was the first time that an Immortal was waiting to claim their lifemate.  I guess it had never occurred to me what would happen if a vamp met their mate when they were a child.  Had to agree that the private investigator was a bit creepy but compared to some of the other things that went down in this book easily overlooked. I liked this pairing, the couples complimented each other nicely and I enjoyed my time with them.

What really hooked me about this book, however, was all the progress with the mysterious Doctor that had been kidnapping Immortals.  We finally got some serious progress on that storyline.  I don’t want to give anything away but he is a serious scumbag and I can’t wait until they catch him.  I kind of hope we return to this island though, there are some characters left here that I wouldn’t mind seeing again.  This whole multi-book plot thread though has definitely breathed new life into this series.  I’m looking forward to the next installment that comes out later this year.  I need to know what happens next!  I do hope we return to Canada again sometime, though.  I miss the exploits of my favorite matchmaker in the series and would love to check in with what is going on up there.

My Rating: 5 Stars

Blood Vow by J.R. Ward

Book Review

 


Blood Vow (Black Dagger Legacy, #2)Book Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance

Book Series: Black Dagger Legacy #2

Released: 12/6/16 by Ballantine Books

Pages: 459 Price: $28.oo Hardcover

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I own a copy of this book

 

 

Book Synopsis:

The Black Dagger Brotherhood continues to train the best of the best to join them in the deadly battle against the Lessening Society. Among the new recruits, Axe proves to be a cunning and vicious fighter—and also a loner isolated because of personal tragedy. When an aristocratic female needs a bodyguard, Axe takes the job, though he’s unprepared for the animal attraction that flares between him and the one he is sworn to protect.

For Elise, who lost her first cousin to a grisly murder, Axe’s dangerous appeal is enticing—and possibly a distraction from her grief. But as they delve deeper into her cousin’s death, and their physical connection grows into so much more, Axe fears that the secrets he keeps and his tortured conscience will tear them apart.

Rhage, the Brother with the biggest heart, knows all about self-punishing, and he wants to help Axe reach his full potential. But when an unexpected arrival threatens Rhage and Mary’s new family, he finds himself back in the trenches again, fighting against a destiny that will destroy all he holds most dear.

As Axe’s past becomes known, and fate seems to be turning against Rhage, both males must reach deep—and pray that love, rather than anger, will be their lantern in the darkness.

My Review:

Again I have to start my review out about this “spin-off” series by asking; why is it considered a spin-off?  It is set in the same location, features many of the same characters, and is pretty much a continuation of the timeline in the main series.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t care either way how the author wants to give us more stories in this world.  Sign me up I’m all for it, it just feels strange to call it a spin-off series when it feels so much like simply the Blackdagger Brotherhood series.  Alright, nit-picking aside this was an awesome book and once I got a chance to get into it I loved how the plot played out.

Okay, small confession time.  I wasn’t into Axe and Elise’s storyline all that much.  Not that I didn’t like them, I did, I just wanted to know what the hell was going on with Rhage and Mary so much more.  Whenever the story moved off their POV I almost skipped ahead because I did not want to wait to hear how their drama was playing out.  I was good though and kept reading as Ms. Ward intended us to read, but man it was so tempting to jump ahead.

I did like Axe and Elise as a couple, however.  I truly believe they are a good match and loved the contrast in their upbringing. They helped each other grow past their baggage and fight for what they wanted for their life.  They learned together to stop being victims of other people’s ideas and prejudices, something all would be wise to remember more often.  I was surprised to see how they ended up and expect that we will see more from this couple in future books as their story doesn’t feel quite done yet.

I’ve already said how I found Rhage and Mary’s storyline so much more captivating.  Now I’ve never been one to be into kids but the uncertainty around their adopting Bitty just got to me.  Maybe because she is an older child and not a baby worked for me, I do better with pre-teens and teens.  This plot just grabbed me by the emotions and didn’t let go.  I was so thrilled with how everything ended up, though!

One last thought before I go.  Thank you!  Thank you, Ms. Ward, for giving Lassiter an actual part in this book.  He is one of my favorite characters in this series and usually only gets one scene where he is little more than a court jester.  I loved that he had a more substantial part in this story.  I hope we can see more of him in the future.

My Rating:5 Stars

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald

Book Review

 


The Readers of Broken Wheel RecommendBook Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Romance

Book Series: N/A

Released: 1/19/16 by Sourcebooks Landmark

Pages:394  Price:$16.99 by Paperback

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I received a copy from the publisher for an honest review.

 

 

Book Synopsis:

Once you let a book into your life, the most unexpected things can happen…

Broken Wheel, Iowa, has never seen anyone like Sara, who traveled all the way from Sweden just to meet her pen pal, Amy. When she arrives, however, she finds that Amy’s funeral has just ended. Luckily, the townspeople are happy to look after their bewildered tourist—even if they don’t understand her peculiar need for books. Marooned in a farm town that’s almost beyond repair, Sara starts a bookstore in honor of her friend’s memory.

All she wants is to share the books she loves with the citizens of Broken Wheel and to convince them that reading is one of the great joys of life. But she makes some unconventional choices that could force a lot of secrets into the open and change things for everyone in town. Reminiscent of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, this is a warm, witty book about friendship, stories, and love.

My Review:

This was such a charming little read.  I wish life had not gotten in the way and I could have read it without interruption.  I picked this book up at BEA last May although it was already on my radar.  We had it at the library where I work and I was already planning on reading it.  When I had the opportunity to meet the author and get a personalized copy I simply could not pass it up.  I’m so glad I did because this book has earned a permanent spot on my shelves.

This book is set in Iowa, and if a blog post I read about it is correct the town that the town it is based upon is two towns over from where I live!  I have to say for someone who had never been to Iowa before writing this book she captured small town Iowa pretty damn accurately.  I could totally picture this story playing out upon the streets of that small town.  Ms. Bivald also did an excellent job of recreating characters you might find in a small Iowa town.  Oh sure, there were some missing, but overall well done.

Much of this story is a fun fluffy tale about a woman from afar coming to a strange town and falling in love.  Another side, however, is a peek into the reality of a small dying Iowa town.  I am sorry to say that she also portrayed this side of Iowa pretty accurately as well.  The author also delved into topics like homosexuality and racism which should challenge some readers like it challenged the citizens of Broken Wheel, and I for one think that’s a good thing.

Then there are the books.  It was such a delight to see the literary world become almost a supporting character in this story.  And to be portrayed so accurately.  After all is not the truest purpose of a book none other than to bring people together like it did for the people of Broken Wheel?

Great read that I look forward to recommending to many of my patrons.

My Rating:5 Stars

Born of Legend by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Book Review

 


Born of Legend (The League, #9)Book Genre: Science Fiction, Paranormal, Romance

Book Series: The League #9

Released: 6/21/16 by St. Martin’s Press

Pages: 726 Price:$28.99 Hardcover

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I own a copy of this book.

 

 

Book Synopsis:

It is in the darkest hours of a universe’s past that their legends are born and their heroes rise…

No one knows exactly how much heart they have until their mettle is put to the hazard and they reach the lowest point of hell. There, they have only two choices. Lie down and die. Or find the strength to push themselves to their feet and fight back with everything they have.

Dagger is the alias that is used by Ushara’s husband, and the father of the twins, who is on the run for his life. This is his story and shows how he became a member of the Tavali and what happens to them after Born of Betrayal ends.

My Review:

Ms. Kenyon has done it again.  She has taken a long-standing villain, turning him into a hero, and made us fall in love with him all the while breaking our hearts over the life he has led.  If you are a fan of her Dark-Hunter series this is very similar to what she did with Acheron and Styxx.  Thank you, Ms. Kenyon, thank you for encouraging us to think about the people that we think of as evil or the enemy and realize that it is always a matter of perspective.  That they are often victims too.

This is a long book that covers a pretty long time frame, five years I believe, it also covers much of the same time period and events that have been focused on in previous books.  I know some might find this annoying, they want a fresh plot, I get that, but personally I enjoyed the rehashing.  Not only to it refresh my memory it also gives us that different perspective and lets us fully grasp what happen.  It gives us a bigger picture of the action that took place.  I appreciate that as a reader it truly lets me crawl inside this universe and experience it fully.

I loved this book, probably because I come from my own dysfunctional family I could easily identify with Dagger’s feeling of abandonment and isolation and resentment.  His anger and need for vengeance too.  It also made my heart soar to see him find a family that loved and appreciated him.  For me, it had been long enough from the earlier books that I didn’t remember all the crap Dagger did to his brothers so I found myself not feeling any resentment toward the character like I did with Styxx.  It was easy for me to warm up to him.  I loved Ushara and Val too.  I couldn’t imagine a better family for Dagger to end up with.

The next book is Bastien’s and from the reviews, I see there are quite a few disappointed readers on Goodreads.  I’m thinking the fault they are finding might not be such a big deal for me but it still gives me pause.  I am going to put a book or two between this and the next one.  Give myself a bit of time to forget the plot in this one so I don’t get annoyed by recovering so much of the same plot in that one.  This one however, was a great read and if you have ever felt like an outcast in your own family then you will appreciate Dagger’s story.

My Rating:5 Stars